David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained for on Sunday nine hours under UK anti-terror laws as he passed through Heathrow airport on his way home to Brazil, the paper reports.
Miranda was working with Greenwald on the Guardian‘s ongoing analysis of the data released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He had been in Germany, visiting documentarian Laura Poitras who the paper reports “has also been working on the Snowden files with Greenwald and the Guardian“.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows for officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals for up to nine hours, “for the purpose of determining” whether they are concerned “in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”. It also enables the police to keep the detainees property for a longer period, which they made use of to confiscate Miranda’s “mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.”
People detained under the Schedule 7 of the Act, which only applies in ports and airports, are deprived access to a lawyer, and it is an offence to not co-operate with questioning.
The detention has sparked widespread condemnation. Amnesty International’s Widney Brown says that “David’s detention was unlawful and inexcusable”, while Labour MP Keith Vaz told the Today program that he was “concerned at the use of terrorism legislation for something that does not appear to relate to terrorism.”